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Greek expert optimistic about China's poverty reduction goal

(Xinhua)    10:05, May 20, 2020

ATHENS, May 20 (Xinhua) -- The prospect of China's realization of its 2020 poverty elimination goal is bright despite the raging coronavirus pandemic, a Greek expert told Xinhua in a recent interview.

China has set 2020 as the year to eliminate absolute poverty and complete the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects. With about half a year left, its poverty alleviation tasks are near completion, as the number of impoverished people fell to 5.51 million at the end of 2019 from 98.99 million at the end of 2012.

A challenge for China is to ensure that the ongoing COVID-19 fight will not disrupt the poverty relief work, said George N. Tzogopoulos, director of EU-China Programs at the Center International de Formation Europeenne, a think tank headquartered in Nice, France.

The pandemic has naturally affected China's fight against poverty, as some farmers, for example, could not easily go to work while their products could not be sold as usual, Tzogopoulos said in a written interview with Xinhua.

But the public health crisis has also "tested China's reliance on new technologies," such as digital commerce, which has proven to be very helpful at this moment, he added.

The contribution of China's poverty reduction to the world is significant as the population lifted out of poverty in China is massive, the expert said. "This is the result of systematic policies and inspiring leadership."

Tzogopoulos still remembers what he saw during a visit to a village on the outskirts of Beijing in 2017. Supported by the government, a local community managed to produce agricultural products and build a park with small restaurants, a guesthouse, shops and entertainment rooms, attracting many visitors.

Tzogopoulos believes China's experience in poverty alleviation can contribute to the combat against global poverty in other countries, for example, in Africa.

In his eyes, this embodies the vision of building a community with a shared future for mankind. "Prosperity should be a global good irrespective of boundaries," he added. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: He Zhuoyan, Bianji)

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